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The Southern Baptist Convention released a 288 page report this past weekend detailing accusations of sexual assault and suppression of information about known sexual abusers. You can find a top-line summary here.  David French’s reaction is in The Atlantic.  Christianity Today published an article written by Russell Moore who describes the report as an “apocalypse.”  […]

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As I sat in the psychiatrist’s office listening to the conversation between the doctor and my daughter, I started feeling restless. Have you ever found yourself listening to another’s story and suddenly you feel naked? Like a veil has been lifted and you realize that you’re being called out; but it also feels like something […]

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The Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has instructed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to no longer present herself for Holy Communion until she publicly repents of her support of abortion. This is wonderful news for Catholics who attempt to live out their faith. The scandal that Pelosi and Biden and other self-professed Catholics present to […]

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Temple Worship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

 

I recently read the post of Mr. iWe, an Orthodox Jew who had the opportunity to visit the open house of the Washington DC Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As a member of the Church, I am grateful to Mr. iWe for keeping an open mind as he sought to understand our belief system from the framework of his own. His essay left me realizing that there are aspects of our temple worship that are universally misunderstood, even by the most open-minded observers. I wish to address those points now. 

In order to understand the significance of temple worship in our lives, let me share our fundamental doctrines and then explain how temple worship fits into this framework.  Like most Christian faiths, we believe all humans are God’s children. We believe Him to be the literal Father of our spirits as well as the creator of our physical bodies. As our Father, He knows each of us individually by name and personality. We also believe we have a Heavenly Mother. Not much has been revealed about Her, except the reality of Her existence. We believe the family unit of a father, a mother, and children to be the order of Heaven. 

Returning to Church

 

The End of a Personal Era

We went to church Sunday morning. It actually looks very much like this one, except smaller.

It’s kind of a big deal. Ever since my husband and I decided to trade places putting him in the mode of Mr. Mom at home with our daughter while I go out and almost ruin my life chasing corporate fame and fortune, I’ve felt like a fish out of water at church. Shortly after the switch in roles, we adopted a baby born to a Guatemalan immigrant who’d been raped multiple times on the journey from her home country to the Texas border. The baby had had her own rocky journey, defying the threat of abortion through her protective and frightened mother, and then emerging quite strong albeit missing most of her brain’s left hemisphere.

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Posted to another of my feeds on March 22, 2022. I like to think I’m a well-informed citizen, able to gather information, apply reason with the wisdom that God imparts, and draw a sound conclusion. I’ve also disciplined myself to take things at face value, act on those things as appropriate, and always keep track […]

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This week’s Torah reading is largely about Torah economics, so it is only fair to ask: what purpose is economics supposed to serve (from a Torah perspective)? Is our concern income inequality? Is it opportunity? Is it property rights and the economic growth they tend to drive? Is it food and comfort? The fact is, […]

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SCOTUS Isn’t Our Only Option; Pray, Witness, and Starve the Beast

 

The recent leak that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade has injected a wave of hope for pro-lifers across the country. It is almost surreal for those of us who have long supported the culture of life through prayer, financial support, and personal witness. But regardless of the legal outcomes, Christians have another tool in our boxes to support life: defunding the abortion industry by taking our hard-earned health care dollars elsewhere.

Over the past few decades, forces have worked to move abortion from a tragic occurrence to a health insurance line item many unwillingly support through premiums. Word gymnastics and vague, euphemistic language have blurred the procedures included in standard health insurance plans. But the reality is different: if we have health insurance, we’re involuntarily funding the abortion procedures that run counter to a culture of life and Christian Biblical values.

Many of us have felt trapped in a Catch-22, with what we thought were our only options for healthcare. We’ve looked to the law — which certainly requires an admirable degree of faith — to right the wrong. However, as we have clearly seen, many in office have placed little to no concern on what are considered dated moral values, let alone simple and affordable healthcare options. Eight years ago, we realized that legal protections don’t have to be our only option to protect the lives of the unborn.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Cass Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, and the author of The New York Times best-selling book, The World According to Star Wars. He shares what drew him to this topic, and why, after 45 years, these movies have become a $70 billion multimedia franchise and continue to have such wide intergenerational appeal. They review some of the classic myths and legends that influenced George Lucas, the brilliant creator of the films. Prof. Sunstein explains some of the larger civic educational lessons found in the space epic, including the war between the democratic Republic and the autocratic Empire, in which the Jedi Knights rebel against imperial tyranny. They also discuss the story of Anakin Skywalker, and his turn to the Dark Side; and the supernatural “Force,” that imbues a series classified as science fiction with a transcendent quality.

Stories of the Week: In England, university and student groups are opposing government plans to set minimum eligibility requirements for student loans. In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams is seeking an extension of mayoral control of the school district, which for the past 20 years has meant important oversight authority over the schools chancellor and most of the governing panel.

Fading Wanderlust

 

Without a doubt, the “travel bug” bit me in my teenage years; the first infection might have been my first flight at 15 years old from California to Massachusetts to visit family. But then I had the opportunity to study at Tel Aviv University in Israel for a year (1969-1970), and my fate was sealed.

Fortunately, I married a man who not only loved to travel, too, but also enjoyed going to the same countries I wanted to see. When he was in the Navy (before we’d met) and in his work as a consulting engineer, he saw a number of countries that I’ve never seen. Then again, on my return trip from Israel I had six weeks to see parts of Europe that he has never seen. Everywhere we’ve been together, we’ve been fascinated by the various cultures; both of us loved to learn and have new experiences. I would study up on each country’s culture before we left and share with him those parts I thought he would enjoy. It has been a great partnership.

Our favorite part of the world was Southeast Asia. For me, I appreciated the connection to my Buddhist practice (at that time). I think that Jerry enjoyed how exotic these countries were compared to the Western countries. The beauty, color, and extravagance of traditional costumes and temples compared to Western mores were captivating. And often the people were charming, too. By the time we went to Australia, Jerry was a bit put off by how “ordinary” it was (except for the indigenous community); I needed to remind him that there was much to see and enjoy, in spite of the many similarities to our own country.

Left-Wing Groups Planning on Crashing Catholic Churches

 

I have received multiple email warnings about left wing groups, especially one called Ruth Sent Us, planning to crash Catholic Churches this Sunday in the aftermath of the leaked SCOTUS decision to overthrow Roe.  From the Washington Times:

Pro-choice activists are planning protests in churches on Mother’s Day and are preparing visits to Supreme Court justices’ homes next week to express anger over an anticipated ruling overturning legalized abortion.

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There is a common thought, which is that Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same God: We may have significant disagreements in some areas, but we all worship the same God.  In fact, our church was visited by an American Christian missionary living in a European nation and ministering the Gospel to Muslim refugees […]

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In honor of the Omer (the count of days between Passover and the Feast of Weeks), I’m doing daily Torah thoughts – each one page or about a 15 second video. Each thought is connected to something in the Torah reading or holiday cycle. Here is a recent image one (although I made a video […]

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In a recent Torah lessons, I really offended somebody. I argued that the fourth plague, arov, wasn’t flies or wild animals, but scarab beetles. The scarab beetle represented hope in ancient Egypt as it was seen pushing the dawn sun into the sky. I argued that the Torah describes these arov covering the ground and […]

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‘Hell Took a Body, and Discovered God’

 

Are there any who are devout lovers of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Are there any who are grateful servants?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!
Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!

If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.
For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.

To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.
Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!